rnradventures part 2 2/7/2024

No Expectations

   Have you ever looked forward to something and anticipated it to be so amazing? Perhaps it was a trip or a destination vacation that you saved, planned and anticipated for so long. Then it rained, you got sick, or it just wasn’t the trip you had imagined. You ended up being so upset and disappointed. Although having high expectations can be very motivating, it is great to set the bar high for ourselves and to challenge ourselves however, it often leads to disappointment and regret if we don’t meet those expectations.

     Or maybe you are more of a cynical person, and you had very low expectations of something or someone. Sometimes, when we have very low expectations of something we won’t even try to do it. If you have low expectations, it can make us lack motivation and energy. We don’t have any kind of dream or vision for ourselves because we don’t believe we can do it and we miss out on opportunities. For example, I recently booked a timeshare trip to the mountains. It was off season and the place I booked looked old and dingy online. It looked like a camp, but it was cheap, and I decided if we didn’t like it we could always leave and go somewhere else. Turns out the place was amazing. It had beautiful mountain views from two different porches. The whole place was remodeled with a brand-new kitchen and a fireplace. The winter views were better to see the mountains without the green trees getting in the way. The weather was perfect for hiking. Not too hot and not too cold. The sun was shining every morning, and we were able to enjoy the sunset over the mountain and the thousands of stars in the sky every night! Now imagine if my low confidence in the timeshare made me decide to not book this trip. How we would have missed out!

    My recommendation is to have no expectations at all. Although it is hard to do trying to remain neutral is the best way to avoid stress and missing out on great opportunities. I am taking a class while on this trip and it is a vigorous class with lots of coursework and hours, I must put in. It is stressful to think about making deadlines as I travel. If I have no expectations, I will be unmotivated to get anything done but if I have too high anticipation of completing everything with a month or two it becomes too stressful. So, what if I had none? What if I allowed myself to progress forward each day and just enjoyed the process? Time will tell, I guess. Right now, I feel God leading me not only in my coursework but in life in general have no expectations, live in the moment and He will bless you in that. It’s like walking on a trail sometimes you end up at a magnificent waterfall and sometimes it’s just a small one. Either way it is an amazing part of God’s creation, and each unique path is a blessing to be savored in the moment.

  So, what does that look like for you? Is there an area in your life that you are feeling stressed, and you might just have too high expectations? Or maybe there is an area of your life where you have given up and you just don’t have any expectations of anything anymore? Maybe it’s time to give up all your expectations and just live day to day enjoying each moment and looking for the positive in each situation. Somedays it will rain, somedays you will get sick but even in those days look for the good moments. Maybe it’s a cozy cup of tea, your favorite blanket, or a good conversation with a friend. I just heard a quote the other day and I hope it will ring true with you. The man said “I never had a bad day in my life. I have had bad moments but never 24 hours of bad.” Makes you think…it’s not all that bad.

A tour of Arlington Mass.

This past week we ent on a tour of Arlington , Ma. It is not always easy visiting a town and this week was particularly challenging giving we are in the middle of a pandemic and it is winter so there where very limited things to do. We did manage to eat a very good lunch from Fresh Pond Seafood. My mom and I both had a fried Haddock sandwich which came with a cup of chowder.It was very fresh. We drove to a nearby pond to eat and enjoy the view.

After a tasty lunch we tried to go to the Menotomy Rocks Park but the trail was very icy and it looked like we were parking in someone’s driveway. We will save that for another day. We were driving around the town and came across skyview park where a number of people were sledding on the small hill there. It was too chilly to get out so we drove to the Jason Russel House to go to the museum there. It was closed for the season but we met a very nice man outside who told us about the museum (and strongly recommended Jimmy’s steakhouse for lunch.)Paul Revere was at this site and it was also the site of the bloodiest fight in the revolutionary war. There are still bullet holes in the wall from that fight.Also there was a giant tusk from a Mastedon found in a local pond. We will save this place for another day as well.

We also tried to go to the Cyrus Dallin Museum which is a local sculptor showroom. It was closed. Also MassHole doughnuts is nearby but only open in the morning. We ended up our day walking thru down town on Mass. Ave. There are a number of shops, coffee places and also the Visitors center which is open seasonally. The Visitors center is located near a statue of Uncle Sam who was from Arlington. Also Olympia Dukakis and Dave of ShaNaNa are notable past residents.

While Arlington wasn’t our favorite town to visit I am sure if we went back in the summer or when more things are open we may enjoy it more. Perhaps we will visit again someday.

Our Trip to Andover

Today we continued our exploration of Massachusetts with a trip to Andover. It was a partly sunny day in the 40’s. It was a nice drive there. Our first stop was lunch at the Town Market. They have amazing baked goods there including many gluten free items. I had the shrimp and corn chowder which was thick and creamy and the caprese wrap which was freshly made on a sun-dried tomato wrap and served with homemade potato chips which were amazing!

Our next stop was the Addison Gallery of Art. This is on a college campus.The building was three stories with different galleries on each floor. The main floor was all about photography. The top floor had several exhibits including some paintings from Andrew Wyeth, Georgia O’Keeffe, and several other well known artists as well as many lesser known contemporary artists. The bottom floor had an amazing collection of model ships including one of the Mayflower.They have a very quaint gift shop which many things were on sale. My mom bought a souvenir mug for only a dollar! This was a great museum and it was all free!

After the art museum we decided to go on a hike we were going to go to the Ward Reservation for a quick walk to see the mountain top sundial but it was getting late and it cost $5 to park! We opted to do a little exploring downtown instead. We found a cute thrift shop to wander thru and then uptown we stopped at Caffe Nero for an expresso before we hit the road.

Overall it was a very nice day. Andover is an old college town with a very cute downtown with a nice mix of old and new. There are many interesting buildings downtown and its of beautiful houses in the surrounding area.It is a great place for a day trip.